Following is information for candidates that are running for office. The first paragraph is from Kathy Olson, who is running for national NEAFCS President- Elect. Minnesota is extremely proud of Kathy and wish her the very best as she runs for this important office!
The next two bios are for NEAFCS-MN Affiliate positions of President-Elect (Kathy Brandt) and Secretary (Connie Burns). Elections will be held at our Annual Meeting in October in Bloomington.
NEAFCS provides an amazing network of professional colleagues and friends that one can develop through involvement with this incredible organization. My Extension career has provided me with leadership and professional development opportunities where I can serve our membership in a leadership role. I have attended 21 Annual Sessions in addition to other state and national conferences, holding numerous leadership positions. I have served on the Board as Co-liaison, Secretary and Vice President for Professional Development and have gained considerable knowledge and experience, and have a good handle on all aspects of the Association. I enjoy meeting Extension educators from all over the country, learning more about their work and building relationships and networking. We have an outstanding group of professionals serving on the Board and I would be honored to continue to be part of the team. I am committed to continuing the advancement of the well-being of the organization and to create and support new and exciting initiatives for NEAFCS and its members. I would be honored and humbled to fill such an important role for the association.
Candidate for President-Elect
Kathy Brandt, Extension Educator, Food Safety
Greetings NEAFCS-MN Members!
During my career I've had the opportunity to work in a variety of positions, in and out of Extension. Included in the opportunities are teaching public school in the area of Family and Consumer Sciences in Crookston and Worthington; being a W.I.C. coordinator and nutrition educator with Cottonwood-Jackson Public Health; managing the Home Service Marketing test kitchen for the Schwan Food Company; and positions with NDSU Extension and U of M Extension in Cottonwood County, Nobles County, and currently as a regional educator based in Marshall. All totaled, I've had about 20 years with Extension. During those years I've served on many committees for our association but haven't said yes to a leadership position. You might be thinking "it's about time" and that's what I thought too! It's an honor to be asked to run for president-elect and I'm looking forward to working with all of you to keep good things going.
On a personal note - I've been married to Brian for 33 years; we have two sons, Erik and Chris; and one wonderful grandson, Aiden. These guys are the lights of my life! We keep busy with competitive BBQ, community and SMSU involvement, family and friends.
Dear Members and Friends of NEAFCS-MN Affiliate,
My name is Connie Burns, and I'm the Extension Educator in Health and Nutrition for the West Central (Morris) Region.
I am writing to express my interest in becoming Secretary for the 2012-14 term.
All organizations work best when communication is accurate and timely, and I feel that I can provide this in the role of Secretary. I have worked in the secretarial position before for other organizations, and feel I have the knowledge and background to help our organization move forward.
I've been with Extension for five years and have especially enjoyed the variety of work that is involved with the position. We are making great strides 'out on the prairie' with families and communities in need!
Before coming to Extension, I worked as a Registered Dietitian in hospitals, nursing homes and the WIC Program. I have taught basic nutrition courses at the community college level, both face to face and online. I have a special interest in staff development and facilitative teaching methods, and have designed online courses for our Community Nutrition Educators across the state.
I live north of Alexandria with Fred, who is retired from over 30 years with USDA/NRCS (Natural Resources). He consults now with Ducks Unlimited. I'm currently half-way through the Masters of Education Program through UM-Duluth, so that keeps me busy. If I'm not working on a class, you'll find me hiking or biking in the local state park (Lake Carlos) with a camera in hand. I've taught yoga for years, and continue to offer classes when I have time.
Thank you for considering me for the Secretary position with NEAFCS-MN!
Connie Burns, MS/RD
In April, I had the privilege attending the PILD (Public Issues Leadership Development) Conference in Alexandria, VA. I represented NEAFCS-MN Affiliate, and others attending were Eleanor Burkett, John Bennett, Jerry Tesmer, Jill Grams, Dave Nicolai. Sarah Greening and Gwen Gmeinder helped to lead the Minnesota delegation. We had the opportunity to meet with Dean Durgan while there as well as having dinner together as a group one evening.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I felt it was a worthwhile experience and would encourage anyone to attend that has the opportunity. Two of the days were spend in workshops and presentations with the experience culminating in a day on the Hill. We had the opportunity to meet with Senator Franken and legislative aids for Senator Klobuchar and state representatives.
Senator Franken offers breakfast each Wednesday to Minnesota constituents, so we had the pleasure of tasting Mahnomin Porridge. I thought it was great so I thought I'd share the recipe here for those who want to give it a try (great source of fiber :)):
4 cups cooked wild rice
1/2 cup roasted, cracked hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup heavy whipping cream
In a heavy nonstick saucepan, add cooked wild rice, hazelnuts, blueberries, cranberries, and maple syrup and cook over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add heavy cream and heat through, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
4-H 'opened the world' for women in the 1930s
Thanks to member Kim Asche for sending this "Great story about home economist... FCS and times of the past. Reminded me of our heritage."
For three local women--Verna Mikesh, Evelyn Kern Dose and Gertrude Esteros, now in their 90s--4-H changed the course of their lives. Read the story:
I am writing this letter to you to express my interest in becoming President Elect for the term of 2011-2012. I joined Extension three years ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed learning about how our mission and work within Extension positively impacts Minnesota families and the communities in which they live.
The past two years I have served on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Fathers and Families Network, a fantastic organization and a truly rewarding experience for me, both professionally as well as personally. Also, my family and I volunteer monthly at the Red Lake Homeless Shelter, preparing a dinner for the residents and staff. I it is important for me to contribute my time and talents in professional organizations, and engage in my community. For this reason, I am very interested to learn more about our NEAFCS organization, and I am also interested in thinking about new ways in which Minnesota can contribute to national efforts within the larger organization.
A few personal tidbits about me, I have four children, the two oldest boys are entering their sophomore and junior years, and both are three sport athletes and love to run! My daughter will be nine this month and enjoys acting and singing; she participated in a summer theater production last month in Bemidji and was fantastic. And then there is my little guy-George. George will be two in November is the absolute joy of my life. My husband and I enjoy riding motorcycle, seeing our state on back of a bike gives me a great appreciation for just how beautiful our state is.
Thank you for considering me for the President-Elect position. I look forward to becoming more active in our association and learning more about my colleagues across Extension.
NEAFCSS MN Affiliate Ad Hoc Committee Addressing Membership Issues
Recommendations to the Board
January 31, 2011
Ad Hoc Committee Members: Suzanne Driessen, Jill May & Sara Croymans
Recommendations to NEAFCS MN Affiliate Board:
1. Adopt National's by-law definition of an active member "An Extension employee working in any capacity with family and consumer sciences or home economics programming, who has a minimum of a bachelor's degree, who belong to his/her state/territory affiliate of Extension Educations, upon payment of dues, may become an active member of NEACS" to allow for increased membership in Minnesota, to include eligible Program Coordinators, Community Nutrition Educators (CNEs), Community Program Assistants, etc.
a. This would require a Minnesota Affiliate by-law change, Article III, Section 2 to remove 'professional appointment'
2. Investigate "partner" and "student" membership categories as utilized by National. With student membership, consider an additional Minnesota membership fee, separate from National dues.
3. In light of the national increase in dues over the next three years, and considering that this year's increase was absorbed at the state level, recommend that we:
a. Allocate a portion of the NEAFCS MN Affiliate endowment funds annually to supplement dues.
b. Increase registration fee for our NEAFCS MN Affiliate Professional Development opportunities to generate extra funds to be allocated to supplement membership dues.
These two actions would result in a reduction of dues that individuals would need to pay to help offset current dues and dues increases, support continuation of membership as well as encourage new members to join.
4. Contact past retirees to inform them of the MN Life Member option and the benefits available to them.
5. Develop a plan to actively recruit eligible non-members to join, including but not limited to, making it more visible to potential members that there is a reduced member fee for the first year, availability of a brochure or recruitment tool, and professional advantages as it applies to scholarship.
6. Develop a strategic plan to inform administration of NEAFCS' scholarly importance worthy of support by the U of M Extension Center for Family Development, allowing funds to be used for membership dues and professional development funds to be used to attend the NEAFCS Annual Session. Examples could include emphasis on the impressive national objectives, the scholarly strength of the association, opportunity for visibility of the U of M Extension Center for Family Development at the national level, and support in strengthening the emphasis of the U of MN Extension as an employer of choice.
As a result of receiving a share of the fundraising income for hosting the 2007 NEAFCS Annual Session in St. Paul, MN, the NEAFCS-MN Affiliate established the Professional Activity Fund as a Quasi-Endowment within the University of Minnesota Foundation. (A copy of the MOA accompanies this policy statement.) In order to preserve the principal of the original Fund, only the available balance will be used annually. Annual use of the available balance will be at the discretion of the NEAFCS-MN Affiliate Board for a Professional Development program(s) and/or resource(s) that reach a majority of the MN Affiliate membership.
Policy Recommendation Committee Members:
NEAFCS Scholarship Fund PILD Recipient Report
April 3-6, 2011, Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
By Suzanne Driessen, NEAFCS, Minnesota Affiliate
This was my first Public Issues leadership Development Conference (PILD) and my first trip to our nations' capitol. I had heard from past attendees what a great experience it is to go to PILD. After attending I too will encourage others to attend this unique staff development opportunity. PILD brings together leaders from six Extension professional organizations and volunteers from across the nation to focus on how the Extension system and our government work at the federal level.
The theme Cooperative Extension: Relevant Now and Beyond explored relevant issues for Extension to prepare for meeting with federal and local decision makers. National Program Leaders from USDA held roundtable discussions which provided a networking time with these leaders and others that work on specific issues. I attended the Food Safety and Family Consumer Science round table discussions. These leaders were very interested in issues in our states. They wanted to know what USDA should include in future grant proposals to help us continue to respond to emerging issues.
This was an interesting time to be in Washington with the potential for a government shut down and Smith Lever funding at risk. Our 'ask' of our legislators was to restore these funds at 2010 levels. Some take-home messages and ideas that I learned about communications with decision makers include:
Smith Lever funding requires a 1:1 University match; most leverage 4 to 5 times that amount.
Research the issues and background of the legislator. Know who they are. My congresswoman is Michelle Bachmann. I went to her website and found out that a week earlier she presented a congressional statement to honor and recognize Coborns Grocery for receiving the Independent Retailer of the Year award. I tied that story into how Extension has worked with Coborns on a produce food handling practice research study explaining how private industry reaches out to the University to partner on research projects.
Visit with the legislature from your district and mention you are a constituent. Be sure to mention the town in their district where programs were conducted and its impact.
Allow times for the staffer to ask questions. Engage them in the conversation.
Extension makes a difference in the lives of individuals by proactively engaging communities to solve issues and problems.
Communicate public value with message that show value of programs to those who did not participate. We need to show why our programs are worthy of public funding by explaining how society benefits.
The session on Branding Counts: Ensuring Cooperative Extension is No Longer the Best Kept Secret key points includes:
A brand lives in the mind of the consumer.
A brand is everything your name evokes in the mind of your customer.
A brand is a promise you make to your customer, a promise of quality, of experience---good or bad.
Every employee is responsible to portray a positive brand everyday and in every interaction.
It takes 8 impressions to make someone remember you--each impression builds on another.
Strong brands deliver strong benefits including: 1) strong funding; 2) greater customer loyalty; and 3) greater flexibility and adaptability.
We need to get better at telling our story. We can't afford to be the 'best kept secret' and it is our fault if funders do not know who we are.
Take the credit! We are essential to people lives.
ABCs of storytelling: A) Define the problem within the community and how you've begun to solve it. B) How are we part of the solution by explaining our relevance regarding issues of today? C) What was the impact on the community because of your involvement?
The second part of the JCEP conference was held in respective sections. What came up at NEAFCS section was that the majority of states present are facing reorganization and/or potential cuts. Wisconsin shared they are framing work with families from an economic perspective and that they had a new governor that did not value education. (who knew what was to follow at that moment??)
Membership is down across the nation and dues increase seems to be contributing to the decrease as well as decreasing workforce.
You might consider joining a national committee - Dec. 31 is the committee sign-up deadline, but you can join anytime. Committees are:
-Webinar review and selection
The NEAFCS Annual Session will be in Albuquerque, NM this fall. The Balloon Fiesta begins the day after the conference ends and hotels are booking up quickly. Preconference workshops will be on Exer-Gaming and "Teaching From the Heart."
Living Well cookbook - so far 11,000 have been sold; 15,000 are left. As a member, we can use the recipes in our educational offerings, but should credit the source.
Amy Peterson chairs a new advocacy committee to help the FCS profession and NEAFCS appear more current and the experts that should be tapped into for national movements and efforts.
In February, I had the privilege to attend the national JCEP Conference in San Antonio. JCEP stands for Joint Council of Extension Professionals and representatives from all program areas as well as Epsilon Sigma Phi were present. The first half of the conference was a staff development on NIFA (National Institute of Food and Agriculture), USDA and NIFA grant proposals, particularly AFRI grants.
It was quite interesting as I was going into this quite uninformed. Federal presenters were featured speakers and the audience was quite tense. Federal money for Extension has been flat for years and money that would have gone to Extension increases is now distributed through competitive integrated projects. These integrated projects must include an Extension partner, but none are solely for Extension. What has been happening is that research projects are going for the money and then discover that Extension must be included, so Extension feels like an afterthought. One of the purposes of this conference was to educate Extension faculty so that we can "drive NIFA from the ground up rather than the other way around."
The 2010 Challenge Area RFAs are:
1. Childhood Obesity Prevention
2. Climate Change
3. Global Food Security
4. Food Safety
5. Sustainable bioenergy
Many of these grant proposals take a year or two to write before submission and approximately 18% of applications were funded in 2010.
Check out www.nifa.usda.gov for more information on grant proposals.
I will close for now and will submit another entry about the NEAFCS action that took place at JCEP.
Last year, NEAFCS sponsored an auction on Ebay and it was quite successful. They are going to do it again this year and need items. Items that sold well last year were quilted, needlework, vintage 4-H, etc. If you wish to donate, the item should be something of value (that someone would want to bid on), lightweight and easy to mail.
Items are needed by May 1, 2011 and should be shipped to:
Carol Elizabeth Chandler (email her first that you will be shipping an item)
Ohio State Univ Extension, Union
18000 St. Rt 4 Ste E
Marysville, OH 43040-1195